Jimmy Herring - Subject to Change Without Notice CD - Subject To Change Without Notice is the second solo album from American guitar hero Jimmy Herring which features mostly all original tunes as well as highlights such as amazing covers of the Mahavishnu Orchestra's Hope, George Harrison's Within You Without You and Jimmy McGriff's Miss Poopie. Joining Jimmy on lead guitar are such top notch musicians as Neal Fountain and Etienne Mbappe on the bass, Jeff Sipe and Tyler Greenwell on drums, Matt Slocum on piano and keyboards. Making special guest appearances on the album are Bela Fleck on banjo, Bill Evans on saxophones, and Nicky Sanders on the violin and Carter Herring on the cello.
Les Racquet - Be Water My Friend CD - Inspired by an interview with Kung Fu legend Bruce Li, the release Be Water My Friend indulges the listener at every turn with anecdote and metaphor, about the philosophy behind `being water" and the gentle reminder that life is beautiful. The CD was recorded at Drift Design Studios in Boston, MA in the winter of 2011, as the band was coming through during the first leg of their tour. Booked for only a weekend the trio made the most of their time, recording their favorite songs and a subsequent promotional video which were both released in early 2012. This recording is the first time that all three voices are a prominent melody. Also, the recording is a representation of a time when the band was learning how to live together on the road, how to share responsibility and maximize the efficiency it takes to be both musicians and promoters. The trio shows ultimate trust in one another as they spin intricate harmonies and solos amidst beautiful melodies and deep groves.
The Deluge - Elephant Graveyard CD - Elephant Graveyard is a freewheeling yarn with wildly expressive musical accompaniment. The second release from the Deluge is a departure from their first in so much as ascetic, but the spirit of storytelling is very evident on Graveyard. The record begins with the Otis Redding inspired Honest Man and moves seamlessly into the murder ballad Rosy. Each track differs vastly from the last and the inclusion of the Tom Scott cover, So White, is cleverly translated by the band's new rhythm section in the dynamic duo of Jeremy Merritt (drums) and George Westberry (bass). New guitarist, Daniel Serrif, displays his mastery of motivic development in his work on Let's Make Medicine, which begins with cerebral legato bends before it transforms into a downright raunchy rock and roll guitar solo. Chris Lord offers his melodic voicing throughout the entire record and is on full display on the track, Her Pride. Brandon Knox's voice also displays fluidity from liltingly sweet to shouting and screaming. The addition of Kofi Burbridge (ARU, Tedeschi Trucks Band) adds another eccentric voice to an already elaborate tapestry. All told, Elephant Graveyard is a diverse record that will keep the listener's head on a swivel.
Also available: The Deluge - Cryin' on the Vine CD
Mac & Juice - Step Into the Light CD - Mac & Juice's self-released album, Step into the Light, is not just a collection of songs but rather a personal stamp on their original music that has developed organically over the years. Because of the many genres of music coming to life on this album, it is challenging to put them into any one category. While crafting songs is serious business for Mac & Juice, what follows are bright, tight, beautifully rocking stories that come to life through moonlit vocals, thoughtful lyrics, and their two guitars which seem to channel the stories as well. Among the eleven songs, "Willie Nelson Song" and "One Hundred Dollars" plug songwriting influences such as Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard, while "Johnny Gene" and "I'm Going Home" give a nod to authentic bluegrass. "Phoenix" and "She Don't Wanna Be" are straight driving rock songs with moving hooks. "Today," "Remembered as the Best" and "Countryside" will make you want to drive with the top down. "The Most Beautiful Thing" unveils jazz notes that are reminiscent of Stevie Wonder, but with their signature virtuoso brand. "Piece of Mind" ebbs and flows over a groove laden low end that spills into a lick-heavy guitar solo where Mac & Juice unleash their tandem jams.
Easy Star All-Stars - Thrillah CD -Easy Stars All-Stars pioneers of covering entire albums, something that has since caught on in many genres return with their 4th reggae tribute, this time tackling the Greatest Selling Album of All Time, 'Michael Jackson's Thriller'! The CD has two bonus dubs and vocals from Steel Pulse, The Green, Luciano, Michael Rose (Black Uhuru), Mojo Morgan (Morgan Heritage), Cas Haley, Spragga Benz and more.
The Wood Brothers - Live Vol 2: Nail & Tooth CD - Following the successful Live, 'Volume 1: Sky High', The Wood Brothers and Southern Ground Artists will release 'Live, Volume 2: Nail & Tooth' on August 28. Volume 2 features the track Atlas from Oliver's days with Atlanta band King Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharp's song 'Up Above My Head', and crowd favorite 'Shoofly Pie'.
Following the release of 'Sky High', The Wood Brothers have received much attention & praise including a performance for Daytrotter Sessions, partnership with American Songwriter, and in-studio performances at numerous NPR stations.
In addition to the two live releases, this popular touring act is in the middle of their biggest year ever. With 100 dates scheduled, sell-outs in multiple cities and festival stops at DeLuna Fest and both Southern Ground Music & Food Festivals, The Wood Brothers continue to gain devoted fans at a rapid pace.
Slightly Stoopid - Top of the World CD - Top of the World features guest appearances from an all-star list of musicians including reggae legends Barrington Levy and Don Carlos of Black Uhuru, Karl Denson, G. Love, Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore, Chali 2na, Dumpstaphunk's Ivan Neville along with Angela Hunte.
The BIG What? 2012 T Shirt - A limited number of shirts are available from this sold out event. Logo on the front/bands on the back. The inaugural The BIG What? Music Festival featured its hosts the BIG Something, plus Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, Big Daddy Love, Dopapod, Turbine, Pseudo Blue, Consider the Source, Arpetrio, ESP, The Native Sway, Mac & Juice, Tiny Boxes, Tennessee Jed, Cindercat and more!
Aug 23-26 - Camp Barefoot - Bartow, WV
Aug 31- Sept 2 - Front Porch Festival - Stuart, VA
Aug 31 - Sept 1 - Guardian Angel Jam - Mebane, NC
Sept 6-9 - CultureFest - Pipestem, WV
*Sept 14-16 - Jomeokee Music & Arts Festival - Pinnacle, NC
*Look for the HGMN Booth at these events
Video of the Week:
Les Racquet - Be Water My Friend CD promo video
Thanks for reading! Treat yourself to some good music this week.
- Lee Crumpton